SPOKANE, Wash. – Pharmacy professors and students from Washington State University recently trained with Spokane Valley emergency response teams at a large shopping mall and provided teams with a high-fidelity manikin victim.

The mock incident at the Spokane Valley Mall involved two shooters inside the mall, hundreds of innocent people and a few casualties. It was staged between midnight and 8 a.m. on a weekend.

The three professors and two students used the manikin to stage a victim hit by bullets and bleeding.  The manikin “victim” was a male in his early 20s who was then evaluated by emergency responders, carried out of the mall on a stretcher, treated by paramedics in the parking lot and taken by ambulance to a hospital where he was resuscitated in the emergency room.

For the two pharmacy students, it was a senior project in which they participated in creating a “teaching” scenario with the simulator – which is the subject of ongoing research at the WSU College of Pharmacy – and an opportunity to learn about pharmacy’s role in emergency responses.

“Each time we utilize the simulator in a unique manner or setting, we learn more about the capacity of this teaching methodology,” said Brenda Bray, a faculty member involved in researching the use of manikins in teaching.  “Simulation research at WSU has focused on studying the impact of simulation on health science learners.”

The goal of this exercise was to test the wireless simulator with a simulation that started at the scene and continued through the transport to the emergency department, said faculty member Colleen Terriff. Previous simulations have been stationary. It worked well and gave over a dozen different emergency responders the opportunity to get real-time feedback on how they performed treatment, such as CPR. The manikin was given many problems and paramedics had to assess the simulator for vital signs and figure out what was wrong – like a collapsed lung. They had to find the bullet entry and exit wounds, stop the bleeding, give fluids, intubate and resuscitate, Terriff said.

Terriff has participated in Spokane area disaster training and education for more than 10 years and was instrumental in establishing a signed agreement between the College of Pharmacy and the Spokane Regional Health District to provide pharmacy help if needed.

Student Regina Ma said, “The exercise itself was an impressive and humbling experience.”
Some 250 emergency responders participated, including law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services providers. Spokane’s KXLY-TV covered the event, which took place from midnight to 8 a.m. on a recent Saturday night/Sunday morning. You may view the story on KXLY’s web site here.

Pharmacy faculty member Megan Willson, staff instructional assistant Jill Morin and student Jalena Young also participated in this event.